Have you ever made a French galette? Don't let the fancy name fool you. It's just an open-face pie, but I think I love galette more than pie. I know. That's a big statement. Why? Well, I'm a crust-kind-of-a-girl, and I just love the equal amount of crust to filling in each bite. Also, it's such a crunchy and flaky crust, and I'd like Paul Hollywood to know, no soggy bottoms here.
This galette is filled with thin slices of apple and pear, a brush of warm apricot jam, a crumble of ripe Gorgonzola cheese and toasted walnuts, a drizzle of sweet honey, and thick, tangy balsamic glaze.
People are intimidated by the thought of making pie crust, but they shouldn't be. It really is as easy as pie if you follow a few simple rules.
First, make sure your butter and water are very, very cold.
Second, don't overmix. You should see chunks of butter when you're done. This will make your crust extra flaky. To achieve this, I like to use a food processor. I pulse the flour and butter for a few seconds and then, while adding the water, I pulse the dough for a few seconds more. That's it. If you don't have a food processor, a pastry cutter will work fine. It will just take a little longer.
Third, roll the dough between plastic wrap. I'm telling you, this is the easiest and best way to roll out pastry dough. There's no sticking and no added flour needed. Also, it makes transporting the dough much easier.
That's the basic principles of having pie dough success.
I rolled out the dough very thin, about ⅛-inch thick, and then I sprinkled the galette dough (save about a 2-inch parameter) with ¼ cup sugar and ½ cup walnuts, ground.
Pears and apples are in season, so I used sweet Honey Crisp apples and D'Anjou Pears. I sliced them ⅛-inch thick, alternating a slice of pear and then a slice of apple, on top of the sugar/walnut mixture. Then I sprinkled the fruit with the remaining sugar, save one tablespoon, and then folded the crust over. I added a few pads of butter to the top of the fruit. I sprinkled the reserved tablespoon of sugar over the folded crust and baked it in the oven.
Once the galette was baked, I brushed the warm fruit with apricot preserves, sprinkled it with the remaining chopped nuts, crumbled Gorgonzola, drizzles of honey, and balsamic glaze.
Making a French galette is as easy as pie. Oui, Oui, it's so good, you're gonna wanna make two.
Apple and Pear Galette with Walnuts, Gorgonzola, Honey, and Balsamic Glaze
- plastic wrap
- sheet pan
- Rolling Pin
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ sticks cold, unsalted butter cut into ½-inch pieces
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup ice water
Apple and Pear filling
- 1 lb apples cored and sliced ⅛-inch thick
- 1 lb pears cored and sliced ⅛-inch thick
- ¼ cup sugar plus ⅓ cup of sugar for sprinkling fruit
- 3 TBSP all-purpose flour
- 1 cup toasted walnuts, divided *see recipe below
- 1 tsp olive oil
- a pinch of salt
- 3 TBSP unsalted butter cut into small bits
- ½ cup apricot preserves warmed
- 1 to 2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic glaze
To Make the Pate Brisee
- Put the flour, butter, and salt in a food processor and process for 5 seconds.
- Add the ice water and process for 5 seconds longer, just until the dough comes together. The butter should still be visible.
- Remove the dough from the processor and gather it into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 16-by-18-inch oval (about ⅛-inch thick), or sandwich the dough between plastic wrap for easier rolling.
- To roll out the dough using the plastic wrap method, line your board or counter with two large, slightly overlapping sheets of plastic wrap. Sprinkle with a little flour if needed. Place your ball of dough on top of the floured plastic wrap. Place two more pieces of plastic wrap over your ball of dough and roll to desired shape and thickness. Drape the dough over the rolling pin and transfer it to a large, heavy baking sheet. Chill the dough until firm, about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
To Make the Toasted Walnuts
- In a bowl, combine 1 cup of walnuts, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and a pinch of salt.
- Heat a medium-sized, non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the walnut mixture and stir often until the walnuts are slightly brown and toasty.
- Once walnuts are cool, grind half of the almonds and chop the other half.
To Make the Apple and Pear Filling
- In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup of the sugar with the ground walnuts and flour. Spread this mixture evenly over the dough to within 2 inches of the edge.
- Arrange the apple and pear slices on top of the rolled pate brisee and dot with the remaining 3tablespoons of butter. Sprinkle all but 1 teaspoon of the remaining ⅓ cup sugar over the fruit.
- Fold the edge of the dough up over the fruit to create a 2-inch border. (If the dough feels cold and firm, wait for a few minutes until it softens to prevent it from cracking.)
- Sprinkle the dough with the reserved 1 teaspoon of sugar.
- Bake the galette in the middle of the oven for about 1 hour, until the fruit is very soft and the crust is richly browned.
- Brush the apricot preserves over the hot fruit.
- Sprinkle the galette evenly with crumbled Gorgonzola and reserved chopped walnuts. Drizzle with honey and balsamic glaze. Let the galette cool and serve.